Cleveland County Conservation District
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Helping People Reconnect To Our Environment

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PRISON GREENS

Posted on March 12, 2014 at 10:15 AM

 Have you ever felt like a prisoner in your own home?  Hiding your vehicle in your garage, afraid to turn on lights or pass by windows, even going so far as to reposition the TV so the glow or sound can't be detected? No matter how cautious you are they will always wait you out, and it's the little things that gets you in the end.  For me it was the mail.  It was stacking up and I was cracking up.  I dreamt about the mail, I worried about it and finally I couldn't take it anymore. I took every precaution, I waited for the cover of darkness, I wore dark clothes, I checked for movement in the street and left the house by the side garage door hugging the wall, dashing behind shrubs until finally......I ran smack into him at the end of my driveway. How was I to know that he had assessed the situation and had determined that staking out my mailbox was his best bet for victory?  I was caught.

It wasn't always like this, we moved into this neighborhood with a dream of building a garden.  We didn't know that our personal snake would appear under the disguise of a CPA wearing golf shorts. It started off small, borrowing a rake, a shovel or shears, but over the years the demands got bigger; plant starts, seeds, even the free services of me or my son.  It was endless, I had a springtime "Borrow-it-all" stalker and he had stealthily tracked me down.

I have finely honed Oklahoma values; friendliness, compassion and the will to help my neighbors and strangers alike and I was ashamed that I had resorted to hiding from this one.  I took a deep breath and waited to find out which of my tools I would lose for the season, but this time.....this time he went to far!  He wanted my compost!!!  My compost!  My pile of rotted veggie matter and poo that my worms have turned into piles of gold.  He tried appealing to my ego, "you have the best garden in the neighborhood, blah, blah, blah", "I want to grow my own veggies too, blah, blah, blah", "I want to grow up to be the amazing green goddess and example for the entire world to follow that you are".  Ok, that last bit I made up, but he did add a couple of pounds to my obese garden vanity, and truthfully I did enjoy this portion of our conversation. But....MY COMPOST!  I was tired of always getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop every time he came to visit and my famous creative oratory skills came to my rescue as I said, "not gonna happen"! 

I explained that I would be happy to teach him how to compost, I would gladly give him some worms, I would even take the time to show him how to mix his compost to come up with the perfect recipe of needed additives for his soil, but I would not under any circumstances SHARE my compost. And just in case he was feeling feisty, I reminded him about my attack bunnies in the backyard. I need my compost, I grow my early season greens straight into my compost.  I never have enough compost.

I said no, and he was okay with that, he asked to borrow my lawn mower instead and we both walked away from the encounter happy.  It wasn't until later that it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe he pulled a fast one.  Could it be that a Golf Shorts wearing CPA outmaneuvered me by using playground tactics? NAH! Besides, what does it matter, I have my compost, I'm free to leave my house again and I have a brand new understanding of my granddaughter Chloe's confusion about the benefits of sharing.  Why can't life be as simple as it was when you were 4 years old and everything made sense until adults tried to explain the finer points of cohabitation in a civil society?  So, I'm following Choe's example, I am not going to share my compost, it's mine and I'm keeping it, I can live with my selfishness, but to be fair....I will let him watch me use it later this spring. 

-Chris Ward

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